Eleven days after the earthquake that tore apart Turkey and Syria, devastating news linked to the world of sport was confirmed. Footballer Christian Atsu, formerly of Chelsea, Málaga and Newcastle United, is among tens of thousands of other victims, after his body was found among the rubble left by the earthquake. This sad news was communicated by his agent in Turkey, Murat Uzunmehmet on Friday morning.
“Christian Atsu was found and had unfortunately passed away,” he said through a brief statement on social media.
Christian Atsu: from Portugal, to Premier League and Turkey
The disappearance of Atsu, who had been a member of Turkish club Hatayspor, had shocked the sports world. The 31-year-old Ghanaian was currently playing in Turkey after a long career that had taken him through several of the world’s top leagues. After starring for Porto, he was signed by Chelsea and belonged to the London team for four seasons, in which he was on loan to various clubs such as Málaga, with whom he came to play in the Spanish First Division. He participated in 12 games and scored 2 goals.
After passing through Newcastle and Saudi football, he ended up in Turkey to join the ranks of Hatayspor, with whom he had scored one goal in three games. In addition to club level, Atsu was known for his involvement with the Ghana national team. He played 65 games and scored 9 goals. With the national team he was in the 2013 and 2015 African Cups, and also participated in the 2014 World Cup.
Turkey was on high alert over the news of Atsu’s disappearance. A few days ago some information said that his body had been found alive, but they were later denied by those responsible at his club.
Friday’s confirmation by the player’s agent is one more tragedy for a country that has suffered one of the greatest in its history with an earthquake that has already left more than 40,000 dead across Turkey and Syria.